Year of the Artist
April 17, 2024

Over the last few years, I have been developing my creative and technical skills via the work that I have released to the blockchain. While I have always been creative minded, dabbling here and there outside of my day job, only recently have I been afforded the great luxury of being able to explore in full every day. I started out this period of my life thinking it would likely be a flash in the pan, but now I see the potential to move it into a longer term pursuit.

The Theme System Journal - Year of Artist

I've always been an active goal-setter who writes down concrete objectives for the next year and spends time reflecting on how well I achieved them. While this has been helpful to me, I often felt disappointed when I failed to achieve some of the goals I set, despite getting close. I recently discovered The Theme System popularized by Cortex podcast, in which one defines a high level statement to act as a reference to guide your decision making throughout the year in pursuit of a meaningful change in your life. Rather than concrete yes/no outcomes, which are equated as a pass/fail, it encourages a holistic approach that makes incremental shifts towards change. I’ve found this process far healthier and more effective than outcome-based goals.

I chose “Year of the Artist” as my theme for 2024. What this means to me is committing to a process of reforming all of the work I’m doing into a professional practice. Doing reflection on what motivates me as an artist. Figuring out what techniques or technologies I want to pursue longer term. Postulating the bigger picture and envisioning what achievements I might like to accomplish. What I can do to produce artwork that reaches a connected set of collectors, both online and in real life.

Ideal Outcomes

Having a high level theme is extremely valuable as a guiding light, but the theme system still does include a structure where you can include outcome based goals as “ideal outcomes”. It can feel very similar to the older method, and I personally use it to set concrete objectives, but the spirit is for them to remain flexible as you follow the higher level goal, and to reflect on them at year’s end when evaluating your next theme. Here’s some of what I’ve completed thus far:

  • Defining my artistic personal and goals ✓
  • Incorporating my practice as OWMO Studio LTD ✓
  • Build a new website with professional artist materials ✓
  • Prepare a media strategy suitable for deep focus ✓

I feel the preceding objectives really were laying the foundation for the rest of the year, and so now I’m looking forward to bringing my attention back to my artwork and aiming for outcomes that could be a little more nebulous or flexible:

  • Build stronger connections with my core collectors, get to know them
  • Be able to mint and browse all of my on-chain artworks on my website
  • Release a generative collection via custom contract entirely on my own
  • Produce high quality prints and offer them for sale via an online store
  • Exhibit at Eastside Culture Crawl and Vancouver International Art Show
  • Reduce time using social media, focus on blog and newsletter readership

Finally, I'd like to invite you to check out the WIP (work in progress) section, where I'm sharing a small glimpse into what I'm actively prototyping or considering developing. The next year and beyond is looking bright, I just need to get out there and get some sun!